Andy Murray, Rome Masters, Fabio Fognini, Italian Open
Andy Murray.Reuters

Things have not just gone according to plan for Andy Murray in 2017. After a quality performance last season, the Scot has not lived up to expectations. Murray needs to erase everything that has happened so far, and just concentrate on his upcoming match against Fabio Fognini in the Italian Open (Rome Masters) second round contest on Tuesday.

This Italian Open is going to be of utmost importance for Murray, who will be seen in French Open after this competition. With no Roger Federer in French OpenNada, Murray will hope to challenge in-form Rafael Nadal.

As of now, that is some matches away, if it happens, and Murry, as of now, just needs to think as to how he can play quality tennis against Fognini. Murray, on his day, can beat any top player and the defending champion will hope to retain this title as well.

Murray has participated in three clay court tournaments this season, and his best finish has been in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open. He will hope to do much better in Rome.

Murray needs to find his rhythm, and be confident, play some aggressive tennis against Fognini, which could set him perfectly for the remainder of the competition. Though Murray might have defeated Fognini thrice in their five head-to-head outings, the Italian will could prove to be a much tougher opponent on clay.

"(Fognini) is one of the better clay-court players, for sure. He obviously would be highly motivated, I would think, playing in Italy as well. I have had some tough matches with him in the past, so it won't be easy. I will definitely need to play well in that one to have a chance of winning," AFP quoted Murray as saying.

Fabio Fognini, Italian Open, Rome Masters, Andy Murray
Fabio Fognini.Reuters

Fognini is a quality player on clay, and he enjoys playing on the red surface. If Murray does not play his A game, the Italian might just take advantage and stun Murray.

The 29th ranked player looked in good touch against Matteo Berrettini in his first round match, beating him 6-1, 6-3 to set up a date against Murray.

Everyone is aware that the best time to play Murray is now as he has looked below par, and Fognini wants to make this count to his advantage, but he also wants the crowd to support him in Rome.

"It's not a bad time to be meeting him, he's not playing at his usual level. But to beat him, I'll need a big hand from the (supporters on) centre court," Fognini said.

Where to watch

Andy Murray vs Fabio Fognini match is tentatively scheduled for 9 pm local time, 12.30 am IST start.

India: TV: Ten 3. Live Streaming: Sony Liv.

USA: TV: Tennis Channel. Live Streaming: Tennis Channel Live.

UK: TV: Sky Sports 5. Live streaming: Sky Go.

Global live stream: Live tennis.